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My Heart in the Maghreb. Jewish-Moroccan Film Week

8 – 12 May 2016

Morocco was once home to the largest Jewish community in any Arab country. In the mid-20th century more than 250,000 Jews resided there, but between the 1950s and 1970s the majority of them left for Israel, Europe, and North America. Today, about 2500 Jews are still living in Morocco, most of them in Casablanca.

For the last twenty years there has been a growing interest in Moroccan Judaism. Young Muslim Moroccans are rediscovering the Jewish heritage in their country, and the descendants of Jewish Moroccan emigrants are retracing the histories of their parents and grandparents and exploring the traditions, narratives, and music of this long ignored culture.

The film week My heart in the Maghreb presents a variety of perspectives on Moroccan Judaism, with feature and documentary films from France, Canada, Israel, and especially from Morocco itself, most of these films being shown in Germany for the first time. All the films will be shown in the original language with English subtitles, and following the screenings the film directors will be present to answer questions in English.
The film week will be accompanied by an introductory historical talk and a closing panel on the culture of memory and Jewish life in Morocco today (both in English). The week will be opened with a concert by the Jewish singer Neta Elkayam, who discovered her own roots in traditional Arab melodies and carries on this Moroccan Jewish cultural heritage with her own original songs.

The film festival is presented by the Jewish-Islamic Forum, part of the Academy Programs of the Jewish Museum Berlin, and organized in cooperation with the “Association des Amis du Musée du Judaïsme Marocain” in Casablanca.

The Association of the Friends of the Museum of Moroccan Judaism AAMJM was founded in Morocco in 2013. It is open to anyone who would like to support the preservation of the cultural heritage of Moroccan Judaism. This association realizes a variety of projects, as presented on the website

With support from: The Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco in the Federal Republic of Germany

Media Partner: Zitty

Past event

Map with all buildings that belong to the Jewish Museum Berlin. The W. M. Blumenthal Academy is marked in green


W. M. Blumenthal Academy,
Klaus Mangold Auditorium
Fromet-und-Moses-Mendelssohn-Platz 1, 10969 Berlin (Opposite the Museum)

11 May, 5 pm


Aïda, a Jewish musicologist in Paris, is terminally ill and returns to Morocco, the country where she was born, to explore her roots. There she not only rediscovers her childhood memories, but also her will to live, because her Moroccan homeland reveals a big surprise for her. Morocco submitted this drama film to the Academy Awards for an Oscar in the category "Best Foreign Language Film".

Q & A with director Driss Mrini after the screening.

Feature film, Morocco 2015, Director: Driss Mrini, 94 minutes, French and Arabic with English subtitles

Film still of three men performing into a microphone, the men sing and play instruments

Film still: The Midnight Orchestra; Stefano BERCA 2014

11 May, 7.15 pm

The Midnight Orchestra

Michael, the son of a formerly famous Jewish musician, returns after many years to his homeland Morocco, in order to meet with his father. When his father unexpectedly passes away, the son sees it as his duty to revive his father’s past orchestra so that they may play at his funeral. This comedy tells the story of a search for identity and one’s personal and cultural heritage.

Q & A with director Jérôme Cohen Olivar after the screening.

Feature film, Morocco 2015, Director: Jérôme Cohen Olivar, 114 minutes, French and Arabic with English subtitles

Where, when, what?

  • When 11 May 2016, 5 pm und 7.15 pm
  • Where W. M. Blumenthal Academy,
    Klaus Mangold Auditorium

    Fromet-und-Moses-Mendelssohn-Platz 1, 10969 Berlin
    (Opposite the Museum)

    See location on map
  • Entry fee


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